Don't Be a Victim: Five simple ways to stay safe from scams

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Scammers are picking up in 2018 right where they left off last year, trying to bilk you out of your hard-earned money.

Here are some simple things you should be doing to stay safe from scams.

Whether calling you on the phone, sending an e-mail, or trying to get to your personal information through mal-ware, scammers are working overtime these days. The Better Business Bureau offers some advice that can keep you safe.

First, keep your computer programs up to date. Don't ignore those reminders to update your browser and other software. Keeping our programs current is a great defense against malware. Set tough passwords. Combine lowercase and capitals and mix numbers and symbols. Write it down, but don't store it on your computer.

Keep your smartphone safe. Protect it with a password in case it is lost or stolen. Also, make sure and keep the software up to date and watch out for malware disguised as apps.

Know the telltale signs. We've told you about a lot of these scams, but remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and if it looks like a scam, well, it probably is too.

Don't act immediately. Research first. One thing in common with almost all these scams is that they usually urge you to act right now.

"So, if somebody wants money from you, do your research. Call them back, ask to speak to a supervisor, Google them, look them up online. See if what they are saying to you is real," said Gena Bilbo with the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.